Monday, July 8, 2013

Back from Lorgues

Yesterday I took the train back from Les Arcs de Draguignan where I had spent four days with my friends, Victor and Svea.   These friends live in a secluded property in the Department of the Var, an area with wild forests and scrub and cultivated vineyards and fields.  

  It is my idea of an ideal retreat.   The closest village to the property is twenty minutes away, the town of Lorgues.   They also have a wing of their house with a separate entrance, that they rent out for a "gite".   Some people stay for three months to see all the area.  With the pool and garden , it all makes an ideal setting.  Here is their site:   There were some Americans there when I arrived,  their second time around. 

Victor and Svea have four dogs and four cats which each have separate areas of the house (since they don't all get on).  All but one of them were strays found at the animal shelter. 

  Honey Puss dominates the kitchen and Effie , a Lhaso Apso  and Manon, a big white shaggy girl ( possibly a small "Griffon" of which there are many varieties) have the owner's bedroom at night.  The rest are scattered about the house.   One pusscat lives in the gardening room.   

  The dogs get walked everyday into the forest.  Alex, the long haired "dachshund" was attacked last week by a wild boar (sanglier in French) protecting her twelve baby piglets.  She gave him a nasty nip.  It was a friend who volunteered to walk the dogs at 5h30 in the morning.  Maybe not a good hour for a promenade.

Alex, Effie and Mau Mau dominate the couch
Friday a few of us ( there are always tons of people coming and going) got out of the busy house to do an excursion to The Gorge du Verdon and to have lunch at the small village of Rougon known for a little crepe restaurant.    

The Gorge du Verdon is France's compact, deep and beautiful "Grand Canyon" and is named for the turquoise color of the water that has cut through it century upon century. 

   It was a much appreciated drive through the countryside seeing the late blooming wild flowers along the roadsides.  I counted 20 different species when we pulled over to take a look at the wild roses and honeysuckle.   We have had a late spring and summer for flowers.

Two peaks which Victor and Svea have climbed many times and stayed the night at the observatory where there is a "refuge" and a great meal waiting for 12 plus guests for the night.

 This area is a favorite for climbers who rappel ( abseiling) off the Gorge or hike the surrounding hills.  There are "gites" ( rural accommodation) throughout the area to stay the night.   And the river attracts kayakers.   Small motor-less pedal boats and dinghies dot the man-made reservoir called Lac de Sainte Croix  formed from the Verdon River leaving the Gorge.  Motor boats are not allowed on the lake as this reservoir is the drinking water for a large area of southern France including Nice.

Overlooking an old castle and the Lac de Sainte-Croix, the reservoir

Just one of 20 plus species in bloom now.

A friendly face in the white flowers.  Too bad I didn't have a carrot. 

Rougon , beside the village 

Under the parasol for lunch looking out to the River of Verdon ( Green River)

I had a chevre (cheese) , honey and pine nut crepe just to try their specialty.

The amazing thing is that this is just one of thousands of villages and beautiful corners of France.  They have a familiar similarity but it doesn't make one less curious and eager to visit each one.  Anyway, a get-away into the countryside is always a joyful thing.     Thanks, Victor and Svea.

No comments:

Post a Comment